Amami Oshima is surrounded by ocean in all four directions, and you can enjoy many different marine sports year round.
Diving is a very popular marine sport, with divers visiting Amami throughout the year. Amami Oshima is known to be one of the leading diving areas in Japan, as it has a variety of great spots from the northern to the southern part of the island.
Among the many diving shops on the island, the sole business who will guide you around every area from the north to the south, is ‘Marine Sports Amami.’ They fully utilize the 3 boats they operate, and will guide you to the best spot for diving based on the ocean conditions that day.
The talkative and overall bright-spirited owner, Mr. Hideki Sai, is a natural-born Amami islander. He began the diving shop 20 years ago.
Mr. Sai takes his boat out to go fishing even on days when the diving shop is closed; his love for fishing is unmatched. He has devoted himself to learning about the ocean of Amami— everything from diving spots to fishing spots. The veteran divers greatly respect him, and many repeat customers visit the shop.
The shop is located the central area of the island called Naze (Amami City), where the diving base and port is right in front of it.
After diving in the morning, you can shower and eat lunch when you return to the shop. They have bath towels prepared in the shower rooms, which is another thing that pleases the diving customers.
Also, they prepare many stickers of fish that can be seen in the ocean around the island to log (a record of the dive). It seems to be popular among people who say they “can’t remember the names of the fish well!”
In the past few years, whale-watching has been gaining attention as the main attraction for touring Amami in the winter.
In the ocean near Amami Oshima, you can observe Humpback whales that have migrated for breeding and child-rearing from January to April yearly.
Mr. Sai is the vice-president of the Amami Dolphin & Whale Society, and was a leading figure in building up whale watching to be the ocean activity of Amami in winter.
Furthermore, he holds ‘whale swims’ for divers only, where you can view the whales up close. There are divers who visit every season, it seems, because they cannot forget the deep emotion of swimming with whales.
Diving, whale-watching, whale swims, and even fishing—
How about experiencing these at the business of an islander who has been devoted to learning the great joy of Amami’s oceans?
＊Translated by Rosemary White
＊Original article is 「ダイビングもホエールウォッチングも！島の海遊びは「マリンスポーツ奄美」で」
Marine Sports Amami
Address: 32-1 Naza Nagahama-sho, Amami-shi, Kagoshima Prefecture
Hours: 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM